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Wireless MCU extends battery life in Zigbee apps

Posted: 14 Dec 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:microcontroller  MCU  Zigbee  Ipv6/6LoWPAN 

ATmega128RFA1 MCU

Atmel Corp. launches a new family of AVR wireless MCU devices. The ATmega128RFA1 target wireless applications including Zigbee and IPv6/6LoWPAN. Compliant with IEEE 802.15.4, the MCUs combine Atmel's picoPower AVR MCU with a 2.4GHz RF transceiver. Atmel's picoPower technology brings ultra low-power use for longer battery life. Zigbee applications include smart energy, building automation, telecom and health care. The MCU family is supported by Atmel's QTouch Library to ease integration of capacitive touch functionality with RF in a single chip.

The ATmega128RFA1 combines Atmel's IEEE802.15.4 2.4GHz transceiver with an AVR MCU on a single chip. The single-chip design enables designers to save board space and to bring down the overall system BOM so savings can be passed onto their customers. The devices also include a low-power, high-performance AVR MCU with embedded flash memory.

Other key features include a long-range, high performance RF transceiver to ensure a reliable wireless link and a low current consumption for extended battery life. The MCUs in these devices run at a very low voltage operation without compromising performance. Finally, the wake-on-radio feature enables autonomous RF transmission and reception, further reducing power consumption keeping TRX RF active while the MCU is still in sleep mode.

"The introduction of Atmel's new wireless MCU family further demonstrates its commitment to the Zigbee market," said Jagdish Rebello, director and principal analyst, wireless communications, iSuppli Corp.. "As local governments, such as the state of California, pass Smart Grid legislation, local communities will begin to launch smart meters and other 'energy friendly' devices into their infrastructure. Many of these applications will require chips such as Atmel's new ATmega128RFA1. iSuppli forecasts that the Zigbee semiconductor market will grow to $636 million (Rs.2,972.78 crore) in 2013."

"As the Zigbee and smart metering markets continue to grow, our customers will demand lower-power devices, lower BOM and higher performance, all combined in an integrated single chip solution," said Magnus Pedersen, product marketing director of MCU wireless solutions at Atmel Corp. "Atmel's ATmega128RFA1 solution addresses all these requirements for the low-power, cost-sensitive Zigbee market. By combining our proprietary AVR technology, wireless know-how and integration expertise, we can now address all our customer needs in this market."

The Atmel Atmega128RFA1 is available now with a suggested price of $4.78 (Rs.223.43) for 10K quantities.

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